Information below is meant to guide first year students in getting started with this major and choosing appropriate courses. More advanced students interested in this major would also likely start with proposed foundation/pre-requisite courses. Please refer to the Major page located in the left menu bar to learn about the full major requirements.
How to Explore the Major
Suggested General Education Courses
All Undergraduates are required to satisfy the General Education Requirements. Guidelines for students are available at https://www.umass.edu/gened. Students should choose a wide variety of Gen Ed courses, providing breadth of experience.
Students are strongly encouraged to take courses in the following departments and programs: Afro-American Studies; Art, Architecture, and Art History; Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies; Classics; Communication; English; Film; History; Judaic and Near Eastern Studies; Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Linguistics; Philosophy; Social Thought and Political Economy; Theater; Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies.
Suggested Major and Pre-requisite Courses
Comparative Literature provides a global, interdepartmental approach to the study of literature. Courses in Comparative Literature examine literary works from many national traditions, and also study the relations between literature and the arts. Majors take courses in at least two language and literature departments or programs, one of which may be English, in addition to at least six Comparative Literature courses.
Students should take ENGLWRIT 112.
Coursework in a language other than English is required for the completion of the major. Study abroad is strongly recommended. Please note that it is possible to begin the second language in college and still complete the Comparative Literature major in a timely fashion; knowledge of another language is not necessary prior to beginning the major.
Students should meet with the Undergraduate Program Director as early as possible to choose a track and discuss their path through the major. Students may change tracks if their interests change.
How to Declare/Change into the Major
For current & admitted students: This major is unrestricted, which means any student may declare the major. Unrestricted majors may still have an entry process such as meeting with an advisor or attending an informational meeting.
Students can see an advisor or the Undergraduate Program Director at any time for admission to the major. Once admitted to the major, Comparative Literature faculty advise the major at least every semester.
Students should contact the Undergraduate Program Director as soon as possible about the major and course selection. Most transfer students begin with courses numbered 200 and above, take placement tests, or meet with national language programs to pursue language study immediately.
Summary of Requirements for the Major
Minimum total # of credits required: 40-46 (depends on track)
- 6 courses in COMP-LIT, including COMP-LIT 394TI "Literary Theory and Criticism," which is our Integrative Experience course.
- Junior-Year Writing (majors are strongly encouraged to take Junior-Year Writing in Comparative Literature, COMP-LIT 357); this course is a General Education requirement and does not count towards the courses required for the major.
- At least four of the Comp Lit courses taken towards the major must be at the 300 level or above. One 100-level and one 200-level course or two 200-level courses may be counted towards the major.
- Other course requirements vary by track, but generally include 3-4 courses in the first language (which may be English) and 2-3 courses in a second language.
Refer to the Major page located in the left menu bar to learn more.
Is there a minor? If so what are the requirements?
Yes! A minor is available. Refer to the Minor page located in the left menu bar to learn more.
For further information, contact:
Professor Corine Tachtiris
Undergraduate Program Director
433 Herter Hall